Alan Lomax Archive lands on YouTube

Larry Ryan

In the 30s and 40s, the folklorist and ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax travelled across America recording indigenous songs and oral histories, developing the now-hallowed Library of Congress Archive of American Folk Song.

In the 1950s he moved on to Europe documenting songs in Britain, Ireland, Spain and Italy. He continued this work throughout his life in America and across the world. No doubt his efforts were an influence on the BBC Radio 3’s recently launched World Music Archive (Ian Burrell wrote about it here).

His work has long been lauded and is an valuable source for musicians, scholars, cultural theorists and plain old music fans.

For a PBS TV series he travelled again through the south and southwest of America shooting 400 hours of footage between 1978 and 1985. Over the weekend the Alan Lomax Archive and Cultural Equity launched a YouTube channel for this material.

There are only two videos up at the moment but no doubt this will become a fascinating resource for anyone with an interest in blues and folk music.

Here is one such video: RL Burnside performing the delightfully titled “See My Jumper Hanging On The Line” in Mississippi in 1978.

With an appreciative nod to

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  • Martin Lee

    Alan Lomax Archive lands on YouTube

    This has REALLY got to be watched and kept up to date!

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